[Mr Jim Hood in the Chair] — Late Payments (SMEs)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 14th September 2011.

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Photo of David Simpson David Simpson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills) 9:30 am, 14th September 2011

I congratulate the hon. Lady on obtaining the debate, which all Members surely agree is timely because of the economic difficulties of the country. Mr Hollobone has mentioned HMRC, and the Northern Ireland Assembly agreed that for any work carried out by companies for the Government, whether it involves schools or whatever, an arrangement would be made for quick payment. Perhaps the Government in this House will look at that idea to help small businesses, because cash flow is their lifeline. It is difficult at the moment for small companies to get credit insurance, so that is an extra cost as well, so some form of quick payment or charging interest if a company defaults on the payment terms might alleviate the problem.